ENERGY STAR Qualified Multifamily High Rise Buildings
To earn the ENERGY STAR, a new or substantially rehabilitated Multifamily High Rise (MFHR) building must meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by EPA, making them designed to be at least 15% more energy efficient than MFHR buildings built to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1-2007.
To ensure that a MFHR building meets ENERGY STAR guidelines, the developer of a project participating in the program must provide EPA or its designated agent with program specific submittals. These submittals, which must be validated by a licensed professional, are used to demonstrate that the program's requirements have been met, that all prerequisites are included, and that each energy conservation measure is installed to specification.
ENERGY STAR (MFHR) guidelines apply to buildings that meet the following criteria:
- The intended use of the building must be for residential purposes. Commercial facilities such as motels/hotels, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities1, and dormitories are not eligible for the program
- If the building includes both residential and commercial space:
- The residential and residential-associated common space must consist of more than 50% of the occupiable square footage of the entire building; and
- The residential space must be separately metered from the commercial space
Additionally, the building must meet the requirements of either Building Type 1 or Building Type 2 summarized in Table 1.
Table 1: Multifamily Buildings Eligible to Earn the ENERGY STAR
|Building Type 1
|New construction or substantially rehabilitated multifamily buildings with:
- 5 or more dwelling units; AND
- 4 or 5 stories; AND
- Has a central heating, cooling or hot water system2
||The space occupied by dwelling units is less than 80% of the occupiable residential square footage of the building3
|Building Type 2
New construction or substantially rehabilitated multifamily buildings with:
- 5 or more dwelling units; AND
- 6 or more stories
If a four (4) or five (5) story multifamily building does not meet the requirements above, it may qualify for the ENERGY STAR through the New Homes program.
Please use the following flowchart (91KB) to help determine if your building is eligible for the ENERGY STAR MFHR program.
How Multifamily High Rise Buildings Earn the ENERGY STAR
Step 1: Developer chooses to partner with ENERGY STAR
Step 2: Developer submits an ENERGY STAR MFHR Project Application
- An ENERGY STAR MFHR Project Application (258KB) must be submitted for each project. Once a project application is approved, the project will be held to the specified versions of the requirements as noted in the application.
Step 3: Developer finalizes a set of designs that conform to the program's prerequisites and incorporates the recommended measures contributing to the achievement of the Performance Target OR the Prescriptive Path requirements.
Once the project is approved, there are two paths to earning the ENERGY STAR. Developers may choose a prescriptive package developed by EPA, or a customized approach using ASHRAE approved energy modeling software.
Prior to construction, the licensed professional working on behalf of the ENERGY STAR MFHR Developer Partner, must submit a complete Proposed Building Submittal to EPA or its designated agent to ensure that the proposed building design meets program requirements.
Step 4: Developer constructs the project with the prerequisites and energy conservation measures as described by the Proposed Building Submittal or commits to make no changes during construction that would cause the as-built project to fail to comply with the program's prerequisites, the Prescriptive Path or cause the modeled consumption of the as-built project to fall below the Performance Target.
Throughout the construction process, a number of inspections and diagnostic tests are required to verify proper installation of the selected energy–efficient features and overall energy performance of the project. Testing and verification requirements are found in the ENERGY STAR Testing and Verification Protocols and are documented in the Testing and Verification Worksheets.
After the final inspection, the licensed professional working on behalf of the ENERGY STAR MFHR Developer Partner must submit a complete As-Built Building Submittal to EPA or its designated agent to ensure that the program prerequisites and energy conservation measures are installed to specification. Once the submittal has been approved, EPA will provide documentation to the developer notifying them that the building has earned the ENERGY STAR.
Step 5: The developer or property owner assesses the energy performance of the project using ENERGY STAR's Portfolio Manager for a minimum period of 2 years following the date of receipt of the Certificate of Occupancy.
- Although the ENERGY STAR label is attained by completing steps 1 through 4, building performance is as much a function of proper building management as the energy conservation measures designed into the structure. Therefore, after the project has earned the ENERGY STAR, the developer/owner must commit to benchmarking their building in Portfolio Manager for a period of two years.
Information and Resources
1 As of March 2011, long term care facilities over 5,000 ft2 and with at least 51% of units designated as assisted living and/or skilled nursing will be able to earn the ENERGY STAR using Portfolio Manager. All other long term care facilities, such as independent senior living and group homes can earn the ENERGY STAR in the New Homes or MFHR program.
2 Four (4) and five (5) story buildings with in-unit heating and cooling and a central domestic hot water system where solar thermal delivers at least 50% of the building's domestic hot water needs must be qualified through the ENERGY STAR New Homes program as long as all other eligibility requirements of that program are met.
3 If the project includes both residential and commercial space, exclude the square footage of the commercial space when calculating the occupiable residential square footage of the building.
- Learn more about becoming an ENERGY STAR MFHR Developer Partner.
- Learn more about the requirements for Licensed Professionals and program submittals.
- Learn more about the technical requirements and resources for earning the ENERGY STAR for MFHR buildings.
- View training resources to help developers, modelers, licensed professionals, and other program participants meet ENERGY STAR for MFHR guidelines.
- Use EPA tools and resources for Multifamily Buildings to benchmark the energy performance of your multifamily building and make energy-saving improvements.
- See a list (102KB) of ENERGY STAR Certified Multifamily High Rise Buildings.